Last week I was in Northampton, MassachusetAts delivering paintings to William Baczek Fine Arts for the gallery's Annual Landscape Exhibition that runs September 4 - October 5. William Baczek suggested I take the opportunity to revisit Smith College Museum of Art, something I needed no urging to do as I remember from previous visits it's got a powerful Collection.
Here is a painting I studied incredibly closely some years ago when I first cut my teeth as a landscape painter in the early 1970's. It is Jacob van Ruisdael's oil A Panoramic View of the Church of Beverwijk. Painted 1660-1665.
Ruisdael was one of the very first painters to take the space of the sky seriously as a vehicle for emotion. Instead of merely a backdrop to the action on the land, the planes of the clouds and the way they overlap each other lend a full blown personality to the top 2/3 of the painting. As a young artist I made a careful copy of it in oil.
Two other favorites: Winslow Homeer's Shipyard at Gloucester 1871.
Rockwell Kent's Dublin Pond from 1903.